Welcome to the Westside Avenue Action Alert
e-newsletters will be sent periodically with project updates, and other useful information about the plan.
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To receive these periodic Westside Avenue Action Alert e-newsletters send an email to info@WestsideAvenuePlan.com, or call the project message box at 719.629.7566 and leave your contact information.
Please use the link above to forward this email to anyone you know who has an interest in the Westside Avenue Action Plan.
Public Open House
NOTE: date of contractor selection has been corrected from prior October 2016 issue of e-newsletter
Once the contractor has been selected by El Paso County
(late 2016 or early 2017), an open house will be scheduled prior to the start of construction for the public to hear construction details and schedule specifics.
View summaries and materials from prior stakeholder and public meetings here.
El Paso County
City of Colorado Springs
City of Manitou Springs
Colorado Department of Transportation
Agency representatives have made a high level, regional commitment to work together and with area residents, businesses, community groups, and other stakeholders to develop a citizen-driven plan based on community values for the much-needed improvements along this vital corridor.
Current Status and Schedule
- Completed in 2014: Preliminary design and community decision to name new bridge as Adams Crossing
- Completed in 2015: Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between El Paso County and CDOT* signed and devolution completed of W. Colorado/Manitou Avenues transfer of 1.3 mile road right-of-way from east of the U.S. 24 interchange to the 31st Street intersection
- Feb. 2016: 90% design complete, begin property acquisition process
- Winter 2016: Begin utility relocation, where possible, ahead of construction start
(*Colorado Department of Transportation)
Adams Crossing Bridge: A Rose By Any Other Name
Tom Daniels, archivist for the Old Colorado City Historical Society (OCCHS) would not agree with Juliet's words in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." When it comes to the 1930's era Fountain Creek bridge on Colorado Avenue at Columbia Road, he believes names matter a great deal. "The Adams Crossing Bridge of the 1800's was originally named to honor a great U.S. citizen - Charles Adams. But the name got lost in history and today he is not remembered for the deeds he did for our community and the nation," Daniels said.
Adams lived from 1845-1895. He was a Civil War veteran, Brigadier General of the Colorado Militia in 1870, an Indian agent, Post Office Department special agent and Minister to Bolivia appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes. His friendship with Chief Ouray and wife Chipeta of the Uncompahgre Utes helped him negotiate the release of three women and two children captured by Ute Indians after the Meeker Massacre in 1879. Adams also established the Colorado City Glass Works and was listed early on as one of the town of Monument's primary owners. His home once stood in what is now the Garden of the Gods RV Resort and he is buried in Manitou's Crystal Valley Cemetery.
(The Fountain Creek Bridge at Columbia Road, now renamed Adams Crossing Bridge, will be rebuilt as part of the Westside Avenue Action Plan project. More to come on the history of Adams Crossing in next e-newsletter.)
Westside Avenue Project
Moves Closer to Construction
multi-jurisdictional project (map)
for long awaited improvements to the section of Manitou and Colorado avenues between the US 24 Interchange and 31st Street is moving closer to construction with several milestones. El Paso County has issued two Requests for Proposals; one seeking a construction contractor and one seeking a construction management engineering firm to oversee construction. "
Those who are familiar with this area know how much these improvements
are needed for public safety, mobility and economic revitalization," said
Sallie Clark, the El Paso County Commissioner serving District 3. "Our
priority is to get a contractor and construction management firm onboard
by the end of this year as a milestone, with utility relocations and
major construction in 2017. It's important to make good on the promise to
citizens that this collaborative and voter-approved project gets
The county has been working with owners of impacted properties in Segment 1 of the project (US 24 interchange to Crystal Hills Blvd.) in which easements, access, and rights-of-way are needed for the project. A series of meetings with owners of impacted properties in Segments 2 and 3 (Crystal Hills Blvd. to 31st St.) will take place the end of October. Owners of properties immediately adjacent to the roadway who have not been contacted by postcard should email (
) Brad Rodenberg at TRS Corp, acquisition specialist for the project, to schedule a meeting.
Major Project Elements: The Westside Avenue Action Plan study, conducted over the past three years with extensive community involvement, resulted in a design for the new roadway that will create a "slow and social" feel to this important section of roadway between the two historic districts of Old Colorado City and Manitou Springs. The road will be reconstructed with one lane in each direction and a dedicated center turning lane. "The numerous accidents along the corridor today largely are rear-enders from traffic stopping to wait for clearance to make left turns," said Steve Murray from the project engineering design firm of Felsburg, Holt & Ullevig. "This configuration addresses the year 2040 traffic projections and is designed to greatly reduce the mid block rear-end accidents."
Other aspects of the project include:
- Underground electric
- Underground storm sewer
- Sidewalk with curb and gutter both sides
- Connection of the Midland Trail, with the addition of a pedestrian bridge
- Street lighting
Two main road intersections will also undergo full reconstruction at Ridge Road and at the Columbia Street Bridge/Adams Crossing (see related story on the history of Adams Crossing).
Ridge Road Improvement:
The north leg of Ridge Road at Colorado Avenue will close with a cul-de-sac and a new traffic signal at the proposed "T" intersection. This modification provides an opportunity for the addition of a Trail Plaza
pedestrian and bicycle facilities as well as a queue jump bus stop (facilitates Mountain Metro busses to easily exit and reenter traffic). A new aesthetic wall constructed between Pikes Peak and Colorado avenues will delineate the Trail Plaza area.
Columbia Road/Adams Crossing Improvements:
The alignment of Columbia Road will shift to the north to the old historic trolley alignment. A new raised bridge (Adams Crossing)
will be constructed accommodating a 100-year
flood condition and enabling the extension of the Midland Trail under the bridge. To enable the construction of the new bridge and accommodate the new roadway, bike lanes and sidewalks, 1000 feet of Fountain Creek will be relocated approximately 50 feet to the north of its current location. In addition, a new wall will be constructed along the north side of Colorado Avenue as well as a new pedestrian bridge over Fountain Creek near the Manitou sign arch.
Manitou Avenue Overlay Now Underway
(A CDOT project in cooperation with
Westside Avenue Action Plan Project)
If you've driven along Manitou Avenue recently, you probably could not help noticing the asphalt overlay project underway. You may have even been detoured to get around the construction. The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), working with the City of Manitou Springs and community representatives, has started an asphalt overlay of Manitou Avenue as well as ADA (American's with Disabilities) ramp improvements at the US 24 interchange. CDOT has jurisdiction over the US 24 Interchange so it is making the improvements there as noted in the Westside Avenue Action Plan (WAAP) study.
The asphalt overlay has been in CDOT's plans for sometime, but it coordinated with El Paso County and the WAAP project team to move the overlay project up and get it completed ahead of next year's WAAP project construction. "This is another excellent example of how well the multiple jurisdictions have been collaborating throughout this project," said Manitou Springs Mayor Nicole Nicoletta. "CDOT and the overlay project team have been working closely with Manitou Springs and keeping the community informed about impacts from the project. There is never an ideal time to impact traffic," she said. "However, the team was sensitive to the community by identifying the least impactful time period -- a slower tourism season and before winter weather."